4 Years of Chalgyr's Game Room

So... I finally remembered my own Blog's Anniversary for a change. The last few years, I kept meaning to get a post written up and set to go live and... inevitably each and every year something comes up, I get busy and I forget about it. Well, not this year!

One of my first blog headers
This is going to be a VERY casual post, because it is a bit of reflection, and a big 'thank you' to those of you reading this site. Much more conversational in tone, where I use contractions, CAPS and whatever else strikes my fancy at that particular moment in time. Oh look, a smilie :)

My first post went live on 11/10/09 - and boy was it basic. Don't believe me? You can take a peek here. Seriously - you know you want to. Okay - are you back? Yeah... there really wasn't much to see was there?

Following that up was my first review - Soulcalibur IV on the PS3. Well, it was my first review here. I had written some for other sites in the past, but this was my first attempt at really creating a place to call my own, where I could host my own video game images and video content. Of course, if you went and checked out the review above, you'll see two glorious white boxes where now-gone videos used to reside. That was before I starting hosting my occasional videos on Youtube. At the time, I thought I would be posting a lot more video game content, but my capture hardware was really weak and the videos I was getting were choppy, low resolution and frankly, best left to others. Maybe this will change depending on the video recording and uploading of content on the PS4 and XB1 in the near future. I wish they had an output to Youtube option, but I am fairly certain it will eventually happen. Boy that would make this sort of thing a lot easier.

An image from my first game review here, ever

They way I lay out my images and the types I try to use now are a bit different as well. I think it looks a bit cleaner, though one thing that has generally stayed the same is my review system. I do shorter reviews on games that I just don't maybe 'need' a longer review, or that I perhaps just don't feel as strongly about, but I would guess that over 80% of my reviews follow the same formula of graphics, sound & music, gameplay and intangibles that I use to create an average overall score.

When I asked about a year and a half ago what people preferred, this broken down format or the more general one, like when I write for Digitally Downloaded, the response was almost overwhelmingly in favor of this broken down method. I try to explain each point in detail, and while I weigh them out evenly for my final score, I try to at least give my reasons so readers can say for themselves: Yeah, if this game's graphics are really this broken, it would distract me - or... who cares about the visuals if it is that much fun and so much replay value?

So while that stuck, other things fell off over the years. I tried doing News and Notes posts for quite a time, but I realized that frankly, most people could get that from an IGN, Gamespot or somewhere else. I occasionally tried a few articles with screenshots and preview information, such as The Dark Eye here, but like the News and Notes posts, they did not generate much conversation, which is what I have been more interested in.

Very pretty, and one of the first companies I contacted about a game review

There was a brief time when I just about gave up on the whole thing. I was seeing very little traffic (usually single digits a day for the first month) and I did not fully understand the idea of networking and finding like-minded bloggers. Thankfully a couple of guys, including our favorite coffee-consuming gamer here, hit me up and just said a few things that gave me encouragement to keep at it. It was a much-needed reminder that at least a few people were out there and not just reading, but interested in what I had to say.

Things definitely evolved after that. I started to fiddle around with and changing my page layout (white text on black is still my favorite here - and something I've considered sticking with again) to working with other sites on content. Perhaps none of those more notable than when Matt asked me to do a few small freelance reviews for Digitally Downloaded, to later being a regular contributor to my new role as US Editor there. My time there has proven incredibly interesting as well, as I have had a chance to work with others instead of my primarily being a solo act here (other than a handful of posts from my kids here and here) and new sides of the gaming industry I had never been exposed to previously.

This is me, playin' in the MUD

I have tried to kick out an average of 2-3 posts a week here over the last four years, sometimes going well over the mark, sometimes missing it completely. The thing is, I have never wanted this to become a 'job' or 'chore'. I love playing video games, and I really do love writing. That is in large part what led to me establishing my MUD, Kingdoms of the Lost over thirteen years ago or gobs of fiction writing and yes, blogging and reviewing games. I think if it ever became a burden, I would probably give it up. I have a full time job, on top of being a dad and husband. Thankfully all of this is something I enjoy a great deal.

So some basic numbers when I was looking things over, but at the time of writing this article I had just shy of 250,000 page views all-time, with a daily average around 500 now (a big improvement from 7 or 8 a day, eh?).  I have over 600 articles published. My three most popular articles are:

My Skyrim review - sitting about 13,000 views

My Mass Effect 3 review - sitting around 9,000 views

My Super Street Fight II Turbo HD Remix review - around 6,000 views


At this point, I don't know exactly what the future is going to hold for me or this site. A lot of things happen and change over time. I find it hard to believe I have been at this for four years already, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it - thank those of you who come here to read and contribute!

Where I was at four years ago is very different than where I am today. Four years ago:

- I was fairly new to the area (a couple of years) I had moved to for my new job in technical support
- my oldest daughter was almost in high school
- I own two really lousy cars and had never in my life had a car loan. One had just junked out on us right before I started this site
- My wife had dreams of maybe going to Disney World again someday (she had gone once in high school a long time before).

Now?

- I now manage our technical support department and another small team as well at my job
- my oldest daughter is nearly graduated from high school
- I have a big fat car loan I can actually afford. That's both awesome and frightening. Like I need more debt
- My wife has made two trips to Disney over the last year, in large part due to her new found online jobs that have us making a bit more money as a whole

I have no idea what will happen in four more years. My youngest will be halfway through high school and my middle child? Graduated. I was recently diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, and as a result I'm eating better and working out and doing things for myself I probably should have been doing for years. If all goes well, I'll be happier and healthier than ever.

With my investment in the next-gen consoles secured, I plan to be playing some video games over the next four years, you can pretty much count on that. Thank you all for being a part of what I do here, and I do hope that in four more years, I'll be posting an update just like this one to Chalgyr's Game Room.

Thank you!


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17 comments :

  1. Congratulations, Chalgyr! Here's to four more years--if not many, many more :)

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  2. Congrats on making 4 years, and I'm glad to have been around for most of them!


    Interesting seeing the stats on the "most popular" articles.


    On the Type 2 diabetes, I have had Type 1 for basically my entire life. Watching what I eat, has been the most important factor for me. There is a book I highly recommend, while written by a Type 1 diabetic, it applies to Type 2 as well.


    It's a pretty thick book, but I followed it's basic idea (low/no carb) for 4 days straight, testing it out earlier this year. During those 4 days, I used little/no extra insulin, and my blood sugar levels basically never left the target range.


    I've been pretty crazy with controlling my blood sugar levels, checking it often, so I haven't gone full board with the suggestions in the book yet.


    One suggestion/request I have for the site though...for a change on the site. Could you add a date/time to each post? I have mine in a simple, "Day/Date" form, like "
    SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2013"


    For me, it helps know what I'm looking at on older posts, that I may re-stumble upon. Sometimes when you link to one in a current post, and I click back...I can't tell when it was published, especially if there isn't a comment on it.


    Speaking of the "next-gen" stuff though, did you request off this Friday?

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  3. Haha - thanks bud! Hoping to be doing so!

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  4. Thanks - what's the title of the book? I'm definitely in a 'learning' stage - it's been a bit under 2 months. I have a buddy at my old work place who was type 1. It always threw people when after a meal he would excuse himself to 'go shoot up'. Never got old to me. :P



    Thankfully I'm just on a pill regimen now - one for the actual blood sugar and the other to help protect my kidneys. The low carb thing has really been my approach so far, and I'm finding over the last 2 weeks I've been pretty much living in my target levels, but it's going to be a process I'm sure.


    Date time - I agree on that. actually, I tried to figure out how to add it once, and the code *looks* like it's there, but it doesn't display. I'll have to investigate further - I'm sure I'm overlooking something stupid/easy.


    Thanks for dropping in!

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  5. Congrats, bro. Keep on truckin.

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  6. Congrats on four years of blogging! Here's to another four more!

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  7. I appreciate it - here's hoping!

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  8. Thanks Matt, right back at you. this community we've built up is really one of the reasons I keep coming back to it, even when I have a bazillion other things going on - I enjoy it too much!

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  9. The book is Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution:
    http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Bernsteins-Diabetes-Solution-Achieving/dp/0316182699/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384189819&sr=8-1&keywords=the+diabetes+solution

    On the date time thing, here's where you might want to check:

    1) Go to blog layout

    2) Look at the "Blog Posts" section

    3) Click the little "Edit" button in the "Blog Posts" section (should be bottom right corner of the section)

    4) Look under the "Post Page Options"

    It should be a simple check box, but here are several options on this page, such as how many posts per page, etc.

    "I have a buddy at my old work place who was type 1. It always threw people when after a meal he would excuse himself to 'go shoot up'. Never got old to me."


    Haha! Nice. If your friend is still working there with type 1, you can let him know about the book as well if you think he would be interested. The guy that wrote it is a type 1, and has had it for more than 50 years now.

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  10. Congratulation! I felt very happy for you.. And hope to see more articles in the future! :D

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  11. Hey stranger. :)

    So, I took a look in there - I was pretty sure I had those enabled: http://screencast.com/t/pgTugognW4


    I think the problem is the customized layout I am using is overwriting those options in the Blogger defaults. It looks like it SHOULD be showing up over the Post Title. I'll have to dig around a bit in the HMTL and see - it's probably there but commented out in some fashion.


    And thanks for the book info. I wound up attending the first of four diabetic classes last night. My wife went ahead and attended too to offer support. Most of what was talked about in the initial class was stuff I already knew, but there were still some good things in there I hadn't read about yet. it's been an interesting adjustment thus far.

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  12. A little late, but I enjoy reading your content, be it game-related or not!

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  13. Hey Phil, it's our party here - you can be as late as you need to be. Certainly better than never! Thanks for the compliment, I do appreciate it. Glad you could drop in!

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  14. Wow, way to go!


    Early days of posting stuff is indeed rough, but you got pretty darn far from them. Keep up the good work.


    Meanwhile, I should check out your older stuff when I'm not stumped on my own writings...

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  15. Hello Melanie - thanks for stopping by - and for the compliments! I certainly hope you do find some time to look around, and hopefully find some topics of interest to you. Thanks again!

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